Three Killed, Scores Kidnapped as Bandits Raid Niger Community

Laleye Dipo in Minna

No fewer than three villagers, including an unnamed pastor of Evangelical Church of West Africa ECWA  at Majure village in the Munya Local Government  Area of Niger State, have been killed by gunmen.

ThISDAY learnt that two other members of the church were also killed in the incident that took place on Monday’s evening. 

It was learnt that  those killed were  on their  farms  near the church  when they were attacked by the assailants.

According to an eyewitness, a pastor of another church, including his wife and child,  are still missing, raising suspicion that they could have been killed or among those kidnapped.

One of the remains of the two  slain ECWA’s members, according to the eyewitness, was interred late Monday’s evening while the other was buried yesterday.

The Niger State Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Raphael Opawoye, yesterday confirmed the death of the two church members to THISDAY.

The gunmen, according to reports, numbered over 50 stormed the Majure and adjoining communities with motorcycles and were shooting sporadically, which caused stampede and death of the villagers.

The gunmen were said to have kidnapped not less than 20 villagers, mostly women and children, and took them to an unknown destination.

ThISDAY was told that a Sharon space bus conveying no less than 10 passengers was also waylaid and its driver and passengers kidnapped.

The vehicle was said to have been used to convey the victims.

The gunmen were not challenged by the local security around the area because they had no fuel to power their operational vehicles to go after the attackers

Sources told ThISDAY that a few days back the head of the vigilance had approached the management of Munya Local Government for money to purchase fuel but the council could not honour the call due  lack of funds.

 All efforts to get confirmation of the incident from the Local Government Council Chairman, Mr. Aminu Najume, was abortive as his cell phone was not connecting.

The police in the state was  also yet to speak on the attack as at the time of going to press.

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